Goldsmiths College, University of London, 2006-2007
Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario), 2003-2006
McGill University, 2001-2003
Queen’s University, 1999-2001
I have two major research areas. The first focuses on activism, visual culture and changing economies. Using Canada as my main case study, I ask what the relationship might be between the parallel appearance in the mid-1990s of global anti-capitalist protest movements and a growing discourse around “creative industries” as a sector of great economic potential. Focusing on the international art world, the designation of urban spaces as “creative cities,” and an increasing economic precarity amongst creative workers, I examine specific moments where protest collides with an escalating economization of culture. I am currently finishing up my book on this topic, titled Tear-Gas Epiphanies: New Economies of Protest, Culture and Vision in Canada.
My second research area is concerned with textiles. In particular, I’m interested in the links among a resurgence of seemingly domestic textile work such as knitting, weaving and sewing, changing patterns in the global manufacture and circulation of mass-produced materials and garments, an increased interest in textile-based arts and crafts in the global art world, and research and development in smart textiles and wearable technologies. I look closely at what happens in urban and rural centres in the Global North where traditional textile manufacturing has died, and have found a fascinating link between dying industries and a redirecting of textile production into new “creative industry” areas – textile factories turned into museums, government monies diverted into smart textile development, art patrons interested in investing in textile-based arts, and a wide-spread growth in hand-made goods. So too, there has been a rise in the use of textiles within activist movements – from radical knitters knitting in the tear-gas, to widespread NGO-led initiatives such as “Afghans for Afghans.” This project is concerned with tracing, mapping and unravelling the “tangled threads” of a rapidly changing, yet ultimately traditional and familiar industry. “Unraveled: Art, Textiles and Technology in a Globalized World” is funded by a SSHRC Standard Research Grant and has employed a number of graduate students in the Visual Arts Department.
Cut on the Bias
Curriculum Vitae (PDF)
Articles and Chapters in Books
“Embroidery Pirates and Fashion Victims: Textiles, Craft and Copyright.” Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture 8.1 (2010), pp. 86-111.
“Teaching Textiles and Activism (a Case Study).” In the Loop: Knitting Past, Present and Future. London: Black Dog Publishing, 2010, pp. 68-79.
“The Viral Knitting Project and Writing on the Wool.” N.paradoxa (Activist Art) 23 (January 2009), pp. 56-61.
“Crude Culture: Canada and Creative Industries.” Feature Article. Fuse Magazine 30.5 (Spring 2008), pp. 12-21.
“’Try to Walk With the Sound of My Footsteps’: The Surveillant Body in Contemporary Art.” Communication Review 11 (January-March 2008): 24-41.
“Screening the Call: Cell Phones, Activism and the Art of Connection” In Fluid Screens, Expanded Cinema. Susan Lord and Janine Marchessault, eds. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008, pp. 270-83.
“Tangled and Warped: Contemporary Craft and Protest.” In Extra/Ordinary: Craft Culture and Contemporary Art. Maria Elena Buszek, ed. Durham: Duke University Press (forthcoming 2009).
“Battlegrounds and Carpet Bombing: Afghan War Rugs at the Textile Museum.” Fuse Magazine 32.1 (December 2008), pp. 6-13.
“Home, Home on the Range.” Rearranging Desires (Catalogue). Faculty of Fine Arts Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, 2008. Exhibition: October 6-31, 2008, pp. 22-24. http://rearrangingdesires.concordia.ca/
“Review of Ned Rossiter: Organised Networks: Media Theory, Creative Labour, New Institutions.” Culture Machine, April 2008, http://www.culturemachine.net/ (Reviews).
“The Revolution Will Wear a Sweater: Knitting and Activism.” Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations, Collecive Theorization. David Graeber and Stevphen Shukaitis, eds. London: AK Press, 2007, pp. 209-22.
“How to Knit an Academic Paper.” Reprinted in Craft Perception and Practice: a Canadian Discourse, Volume 3. Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2007, pp. 85-94. Originally printed in Public 31 (2006), np (dvd format), available at www.digipopo.org.
Capturing the Movement: Affect, Anti-War Art and Activism.” Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Activism 34.1&2 ((Fall 2006): 27-30.
“Webs of Resistance: Photography, the Internet and the Global Justice Movement.” In Le Mois de la Photo: Image and Imagination. Martha Langford, ed. Kingston and Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005, pp. 147-58.
Awards, Honours, Grants
SSHRC SRG “Unraveled: Art, Textiles and Technology in a Globalized World” 2010-2011.
VAH3392: Tangled and Warped: Textiles and Activism
Emma Arenson (co-supervision with Bridget Elliot), “Bodily Difference: The Absent/Present Body as Signifier of Disability,” MA (in progress)
Jonathan Sarma, “Art and Artificiality: The Re/De(Con)struction of ‘Natural’ Gender in 1990s Visual Culture,” MA (completed 2010).
Andrea Skelly, “Containers of Electronic Art: Displaying Electronic Art in ‘White Cube’ and Experimental Spaces,” MA (completed 2009)